ALTERNATIVE TITLES – Libro d’Ore della Vergine Tessitrice – Livre d’Heures de la Vierge Tisseuse – Libro de Horas de la Virgen Tejedora – Stundenbuch der Webenden Muttergottes.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION – Codex on parchment, dimensions 198 x 142 / 146 mm, 178 folios (356 pages).
BINDING – 18th century binding in marbled leather and gilded decoration with a chain design framing the front and back boards. The spine is divided into six panels: a paper piece with the inscription «OFICIO PARBO M.S.» occupies the second panel, a decoration depicting two doves seated on the edges of a chalice occupies the third, fourth and fifth panels.
ORIGIN – France (probably Paris).
DATING – Mid-15th century.
PATRONAGE AND OWNERS – The manuscript does not retain any elements that might be useful in identifying a patron or recipient. Its subsequent history cannot be reconstructed either. However, the paper piece in Castilian, that was applied to the second panel of the spine when it was bound in the 18th century, suggests that the codex was already in Spain at that time.
PRESENT REPOSITORY – In the last century, the codex was acquired by the Spanish businessman and collector José Lázaro Galdiano (b. 1862, d. 1947). Upon his death – with the establishment of the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano – his collection became part of the Museo de la Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, where the manuscript is today preserved with the shelfmark Inv. 15452.
GENRE – Christianity, Private devotional books.
CONTENT – Calendar (ff. 1r-12v), representative fragments of the four Gospels (ff. 13v-18v), Obsecro te (ff. 19r-22v), O intemerata (ff. 23r-26v), Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ff. 27r-100v), Penitential psalms (ff. 101r-112v), litanies (ff. 112v-118v), Hours of the Cross (ff. 119r-122r), Hours of the Holy Spirit (ff. 122v-125v), Office of the Dead (ff. 125v-168v), suffrages (ff. 169r-178v).
LANGUAGE – Latin. In the calendar, the names of the months are written in French.
SCRIPT – Gothic.
DECORATION – The manuscript contains an impressive 15 full-page miniatures, characterised by the same structure: a main image within a frame, an acanthus leaf and raceme outline where in some cases flowers are inserted, a large decorated initial. The scenes represented are as follows: St John the Evangelist (f. 13r), Madonna and Child with an angel kneeling (f. 19r), Annunciation (f. 27r), Visitation to St Elizabeth (f. 46v), Nativity (f. 59r), Announcement to the shepherds (f. 64r), Adoration of the Magi (f. 69r), Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (f. 73r), Flight into Egypt (f. 77v), Coronation of the Virgin Mary (f. 85v), Virgin Weaver (f. 91r), Penance of David (f. 101r), Crucifixion of the Lord (f. 119r), Pentecost (f. 122v), Burial scene (f. 126r). In the miniature on f. 91r – the one that gives the manuscript its name – the Blessed Virgin is depicted inside a room with a canopy bed, while working on a horizontal loom. Finally, the decoration of the manuscript is enriched with initials of different designs and borders with racemes on all the folios.
ILLUMINATORS – The miniatures were made by two different illuminators. They are highly qualified artists, but one of them – the one who worked on most of the scenes, including that of the Virgin Weaver – is characterised by greater talent. Both have remained anonymous and only the more talented one can be speculated upon to identify him. Elisa Ruiz García – author of the study accompanying the facsimile version of the codex – consulted the scholar François Avril, a profound connoisseur of French Books of Hours. In his opinion, the artist can be identified as the Master of the Golden Legend of Munich, a follower of the Master of the Duke of Bedford who was active in Paris in the first half of the 15th century. As for the second artist, no concrete hypothesis can be made at present, but it is possible to say that he has points of contact with the works of the Master of the Duke of Bedford and the Master of Dunois.
STYLE – Gothic, Renaissance.
Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles
Officiolo, Offiziolo, Officiolum
Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document – The facsimile reproduces as close as possible the physical characteristics of the original document, with the aim to substitute it in the scientific research and in the libraries of the bibliophile collectors. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document. The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
Publisher – Millennium Liber (Madrid, 2002), in co-edition with the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano.
Limited edition – Millennium Liber – in accordance with the agreement signed with the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano – produced an edition of 995 copies identified with Arabic numeration, 28 copies identified with the letters of the alphabet, and 55 copies identified with Roman numerals.
Certificate of authenticity – Certificate of authenticity signed by Berta García Prieto, notary of the Ilustre Colegio de Notarios de Barcelona.
Writing support material – Special aged like-parchment paper.
Binding – Marbled leather cover and gilded border decoration with a chain design framing the front and back boards. The spine is divided into six panels: a paper piece with the inscription «OFICIO PARBO M.S.» occupies the second panel, a decoration depicting two doves seated on the edges of a chalice occupies the third, fourth and fifth panels.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Spanish, by Elisa Ruiz García. Half-leather binding, size 15 x 21 cm, 215 pages.
Slipcase – The facsimile and the commentary volume are housed in a double compartment slipcase.
ISBN – 84-932516-0-7 (facsimile), 84-932516-1-5 (commentary volume), 84-932516-2-3 (facsimile and commentary volume).
Copyright photos: Illuminated Facsimiles